Blustery Sunday Ride
Well, I think it’s official. Fall in the Ozarks is here. Saturday was a cool and damp day all around, with the high’s staying below fifty and a cloud cover most of the day. We got up and ran 7 miles, but wouldn’t have had any inclination to ride the bikes even if we didn’t have obligations for most of the day. Luckily, we did though, so nobody complained.
I did get a text from Mike in the afternoon asking if we were interested in riding on Sunday. I replied that I would, but the jury was still out on Pam, depending on how much it warmed up.
The sun did mostly come out, and the temperature did warm into the low 50’s, but it wasn’t really a pleasant day by any means. At the last minute, Pam decided she would join us, so we loaded up and headed toward Elwood where were were to meet Mike at 2:00. On the way, we got a text the Max was coming also, but they would be 30 minutes late.
Since we were already headed that direction, we decided to do a “warm-up loop” out to the airport roundabout, then meet them back at Elwood. We made too good a time on our warm-up loop, so we added a loop over to Highway EE for good measure. We pulled back into the parking lot at Elwood just as Max arrived and Mike got there within a few minutes.
Mike is still down to just one bike. He’s got the replacement for his broken frame mostly done, but the shop is waiting for one part…I think he said the head-set. He’s also building up a new frame, but it’s still got a way to go, so for now he’s riding his MASI ‘cross bike. It doesn’t matter, even with it’s added weight, we still can’t keep up with him, although it is nice that it slows him down some!
When the sun was out, we almost got warm a couple of times, but I think my nose was cold the entire afternoon. We were heading into a little bit of a wind that just kept the day from it’s potential. At one point, Pam asked if we had a brake rubbing, but I assured her that it was just the wind.
We initially tried a road we’ve not taken before. The roads out there are generally laid out on a grid, so to get from Elwood to Ash Grove, you head north, then west, then north, then west, then….well, you get the picture. This time, however, our road did a loop on us out in the Clear Creek area and someone turned left when we should have turned right and ended up back where we started on FR124. Those of us who were following along were just about as confused because by the time we figured it out, it made more sense to just keep going to 124 than turn around and go the other way.
Tomorrow is Max’s birthday, so we probably should have pedaled 69 miles in his honor. Well, we might have if the weather had been warmer and we had gotten an earlier start! Happy birthday, Max, and enjoy that big lunch you’re planning!
We’re starting to see a little color in a few trees here in town, so we were hopeful that we might see a little this afternoon. Not so much. You can see from the pic above that a few trees are trying, but I’m thinking the fall colors aren’t going to be particularly spectacular around here.
We made an attempt to ride on some roads we don’t normally take on the way to Ash Grove, and were fairly successful. That success came at a slight cost, however, in that we ended passing to the west of the conservation area and hitting the edge of a few hills. It wasn’t horrible, but it was a little hillier than we normally expect riding out there.
At Ash Grove, we stopped at the c-store for hot chocolate and Snickers to refuel for the trip back. Because of our added mileage, Pam and I were sitting right at 24 miles by the time we stopped, so it felt good to go inside and occupy the tables normally filled by the local “liars club”. We guessed they don’t meet on Sunday afternoons.
As we headed back, we at least had the wind at our backs, but by that time it seemed like the temperature was dropping slightly, and there was a hazy overcast starting to creep in so it didn’t really feel that much more comfortable. In fact, I even did an on-bike glove change into my full finger gloves to stay more comfortable. Both Pam and I were wearing a lot more clothes than Max and Mike, and neither one regretted that decision, although I was pretty sweaty underneath in spite of being chilled at the extremes.
We pulled back into Elwood right at 5:00, with nearly 2.5 hours of riding time and an average speed of 15.6 mph for the 38.78 miles. Pam made me ride around the parking lot a couple of times to turn her computer over to 39 miles, but I reminded her that mine was the official one anyway!
I was interested to note that we were really consistent in our average speed for the day in spite of the wind. You can see the full GPS track by clicking the picture of the map above.
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